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Men linked to Sinaloa cartel arrested at Hooters with over 53 pounds of meth

Bags of methamphetamine seized during a drug-related arrest in Ontario on Thursday.
(California Department of Justice)

The five men showed up at the Hooters parking lot in Ontario. But they weren’t there to eat chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses.

Authorities said the men were associates of the Sinaloa drug cartel who were there try to sell 53 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped in 42 clear plastic bags.

The men, who were arrested Thursday by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation’s Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force, are accused of trying to sell meth to undercover officers, authorities said.

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The five were arrested outside of Hooters on suspicion of transporting methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sales and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, KABC-TV reported. They were identified as Benjamin Machado-Morales, Heriberto Coronado-Martin, Eric Villareal-Aguilar, Eduardo Ruano-Alvarez and Hector Marroquin.

They are being held in San Bernardino County’s West Valley Detention Center, officials said.

The drugs had a street value of $2.6 million.

A 2014 report from state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris’ office stated that California has emerged as the major gateway for methamphetamine into the rest of the country. It estimated that 70% of the U.S. supply traveled through state border crossings and linked Southern California gangs with Mexican cartels.

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